Bruce Willis’ family recently posted a statement on his Instagram page saying that he was diagnosed with a medical condition called aphasia.

The “Die Hard” actor is retiring after a 40-year career due to the condition and his health challenges.

But what is aphasia and how does it affect the body? Here is what you need to know.

What is aphasia?

Aphasia is a medical condition affecting the brain that causes one to lose their ability to communicate, according to The Mayo Clinic.

It can affect the ability to communicate verbally and through writing. Aphasia typically develops as a result of a stroke or brain injury, but it can also develop as a result of a brain tumor or other degenerative disease.

The severity depends on the cause and extent of brain damage.

What are the symptoms of aphasia?

According to The Mayo Clinic, aphasia is often a symptom of another medical condition, such as a stroke, but a person with aphasia can display the following characteristics:

  • Speak in short or incomplete sentences
  • Speak in sentences that don’t make sense
  • Substitute one word for another or one sound for another
  • Speak unrecognizable words
  • Not understand other conversations
  • Write sentences that don’t make sense

Is there a cure for aphasia?

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, some people with aphasia make a full recovery without treatment. But most people with the condition never completely recover.

There is no cure for aphasia, but treatments such as speech therapy and active family intervention can go a long way in helping the person affected by aphasia to regain speech and language function over time.

Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to NJ.com

Katherine Rodriguez can be reached at [email protected]. Have a tip? Tell us at nj.com/tips.